Good nutrition is a major element of ensuring you have a happy healthy pet. Research into the nutritional needs of pets has advanced significantly over the past few decades. This has lead to improved complete and balanced diets becoming available for all life-stages and lifestyles of our pets and helping our pets to achieve optimal health.
Did you know: a cat’s diet should contain 41 essential nutrients whist a dog requires 37?
What this means for your pet
A diet that is complete and balanced will supply all the key nutrients and energy needed to meet the daily needs of the animal at its particular life-stage. The nutrition and energy requirements of your pet will vary depending on its life-stage, lifestyle and health.
Life-stages can be separated into:
- Kitten/puppy – up to 1 year of age
- Adult cat/dog – 1-6 years of age
- Senior cat/dog – 7 years old and above.
Lifestyle choices include light varieties more suitable for indoor cats and pets that tend to put on weight easily through to performance varieties for dogs that require more energy than the typical dog, such as working dogs.
Prescription diets are available to cater for pets with specific health needs such as pets with renal disease and even joint problems and may be recommended by The Vet.
What to consider when choosing pet food:
- nutritional value – is the product healthy?
- quality – is the product of good quality?
- palatability – does your pet enjoy the taste?
- cost – is this price reasonable and sustainable?
Calculating the cost of pet food
Cost comparisons of different pet foods should be calculated on a ‘per feed’ basis rather than per bag/tin/pouch, as each different food will have a different feeding guide depending on its content. E.g. Pet Food A may require a 20kg dog to be fed 100g of feed per day whereas Pet Food B requires the same dog to be feed 200g per day. Pet Food A may seem more expensive at first glance but a 2kg of this food would last 20 days compared to Pet Food B which would only last 10 days.
It is also important to remember that the feeding recommendations are a guide only and represent an average dog or cat in a ‘normal’ range of environments. The guide can be used as a starting point to obtain an approximate estimate of your pets needs and then by observation of your pet decide whether to feed more or less, or ask the team at The Vet for advice.
At The Vet we sell life-stage, lifestyle and prescription food. For more information speak to the clinic who will be happy to help you and make recommendations. Opening hours are 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm on weekends.